aldersprig: (lock and key)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Change of Pace


Fuck. Did everyone know Ctirad was the boss’s idiot leashed pet?

“Easy, easy. Come on, man.” Shel ran a hand in front of his face; when he dropped his hand, his skin was nut-brown and his ears were pointed. He looked a bit spindly around the joints and he was about half a foot shorter. “Easy. We’re all fae here. That means we all know what a collar means, okay?”

Ctirad touched the collar with both hands and tried to ignore the feeling in the pit of his stomach. “It means I’m his bitch.” That’s what Ermenrich had told him. “But that was… That was Ermenrich.”

“No, Ermenrich is just an asshole.” Shel sat down a few feet away from Ctirad. “Look. Belonging isn’t something Ermenrich made up for you, okay? It’s not something that he did because he’s clever or because he knows how to use people. You didn’t know?”

Ctirad shook his head, not trusting himself to words.

“Damnit, and I bet you act so… Well, self-confident isn’t the word, but you act like you know everything that’s going on. So the boss wouldn’t know, just think you were, uh. Abused. Which you were - sorry, but it’s true.” Shel leaned back. “Damn. Okay. You had a Mentor, you were trained?”

Ctirad swallowed. “I was working for one of Ermenrich‘s associates. I almost died. I Changed. Ermenrich found me a teacher and taught me the basics.”

“Okay, so he found someone that would leave out the things he didn’t want you to know. What an asshole. And then- uh, what came next, if you don’t mind me asking?”

He minded. But he wanted information. “I stayed working for his associate for another couple years. I had a name, I was making a name for myself. And then Ermenrich decided I should come work as his man. Be his. And that was fine… I guess. That was what it was. But then…”

“But then you were his, and you were under his thumb, because he’d tricked you into a Belonging. What an asshole,” Shel repeated. “What a ridiculous fucking asshole.”

Ctirad ducked his head and tried to get control of himself. “So… Uh.” He didn’t even know where to start.

“So he tricked you into something because he knew you didn’t know. It’s not your fault. And it’s not… uh.” Shel looked over at him. “So. The collar means - what the collar means is that you agreed to Belong to someone - the Boss in this case - and what THAT means is that you agreed to be under their Name, to do as their will dictates, and to be protected by them. Pretty much, he hired all of you instead of just some daytime work. Now, you and I know - or I’m getting, at least - that you didn’t actually agree to shit, and I’m pretty sure the Boss knows that, too. But just seeing the collar, nah. That just tells people you’re all in, that the Boss and you are like this,” he crossed his fingers tightly. “So, none of this ‘you’re his bitch; stuff, okay? It only means that when your Keeper is an asshole.”

Ctirad swallows. “So. I am wearing a collar.” He touched it. He was still definitely wearing a collar. “And I have no idea what it means. That is - that is not more reassuring than wearing a collar and knowing what it means, even knowing it meant I was someone’s bitch.”

Shel snorted. “No. Well, let’s see. You know that it means that you do what he says, that you want to please him, and that displeasing him makes you unhappy - don’t look at me like that, I’ve spent some time in a collar, too. Actually, the Boss bought me in a situation… not too different from yours, although I was more of an adult when I went into it, at least. I knew what I was getting into, or thought I did. Not saying my situation is yours, but I know what it’s like to be Kept, to Belong - those are the words they use, although there’s fancier words, there’s longer words, and there’s formal words. Anyway. What it means, under fae law, is that he’s responsible for you. What it means, practically, is that we know not to mess with you, because you belong to the Boss. Practically, though, we all do what he says.” Shel shrugged. “If your education was that slim, I’ll talk to the boss about taking some time out to teach you the things your Mentor missed.”

“I’m not a kid,” Ctirad offered weakly. “I was a full-grown adult and everything-”

“There’s adult and there’s adult, I’m afraid.” Shel’s smile was apologetic. “And you were an adult, sure, but you were mis-educated. At least in fae things. I’m not saying anything about your human-life stuff. So…?”

Ctirad looked up at him. “So everything Ermenrich told me was a lie?”

“Well, I don’t know about everything. But it’s a good bet. I mean… It’s a good starting point? And if you want to ask me about things, I won’t tell anyone anything you ask. Cross my heart.” Shel made the gesture across his rather attractive chest. “Now. Are you okay to go shopping, or should I tell the boss something came up and we ended up sitting around eating ice cream all day and bitching about our employers?”

Ctriad stared at him. “You’re joking, right? I mean, he said I should go shopping.”

“Ah, but did he make it an order?”

“…No? No, but he. He told me to go shopping.”

“Then I guess we’ll go shopping, and then I’ll buy you some ice cream, and yes, you can punch me if I get too irritating, but try to avoid the face, please, I make money with this face.” Shel held out a hand to Ctirad. “Let’s do that, before I change my mind and we really do sit around all day eating ice cream, all right?”

“Tempting,” Ctirad admitted. He took the hand. “But I don’t think I could manage to do that.”

“Hey, that’s the thing about Belonging to someone. Even a good owner like the Boss, it messes with your head. And from your accounts, your previous owner was anything but a good one. So that’s fine. It’s like, uh, PTSD. You’ve been in a traumatic situation. It’ll take you a while to get your brain back on straight. Let’s see.” He looked Ctirad up and down. “Jeans, shirt. Shoes downstairs”

“Boots.”

“That’ll do. All right. Watch out shopping world, here we come.”

Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1361043.html

Want More?

Date: 2017-07-24 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Wow. I was unaware that poor Ctirad didn't have more information about the general rules and Laws underlying Keeping. I thought he'd run into one godawful horrible black Keeping of a situation, but I never realized his foundations were that wobbly as regards fae... all sorts of things. :(

*hugs Shel*

Date: 2017-07-24 04:01 am (UTC)
inventrix: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
EVERY TIME I THINK I CAN'T THINK ANY WORSE OF ERMIE, YOU PROVE ME WRONG

Date: 2017-07-24 01:46 pm (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
I think that calling him "Ermagehrd" — that was you, right? — was entirely too kind. I don't have a replacement immediately to hand, but I suspect there's something that's still a riff on his name that's far, far worse.

Date: 2017-07-24 04:47 pm (UTC)
inventrix: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
Yeah I refuse to remember how to spell his real name. >.>

Trust me, I've been trying to come up with something!! If you get a good one, let me know.

Date: 2017-09-15 12:31 am (UTC)
rowyn: (hmm)
From: [personal profile] rowyn
I KNOW RIGHT

I can't wait for Ermie to finally reap what he has sown. So looking forward to that.

Date: 2017-07-25 01:33 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: A cartoon eight-year-old boy holds up a book and looks at it with shock and anger. (Calvin & Hobbes: angry book)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Oh, jeez, I wouldn't have guessed that CT doesn't even know what Keeping is. Poor kid. I'm liking Shel a lot.

Date: 2017-07-29 12:59 pm (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
Dear brain: constantly misreading "Shel" as "She"-oops-"Shel" is making this tricksy.

I. Um. Er. I believe that once Timaios finds out what Ctirad doesn't know, Erm the Worm will shortly end up as Ctirad's recently deceased former Keeper.

Lack of informed consent doesn't seem to much slow down Keeping in many cases, but Timaios seems a decent fellow. Does he actually know that Ctirad had no idea? If not, I wonder how he'll handle the realization.

Shel is good people. Er. Fae. Er... In any case, Ctirad and Shel seem to be getting on; I hope that this works out well for both of them and Timaios doesn't discourage it. Also, I kind of want to see them sitting, eating ice cream, and bitching about their employers. Though that may end up with Ctirad completely coming apart.

Date: 2017-08-09 09:00 pm (UTC)
thnidu: plus sign (plus)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Fae are people. Pixies are people. Humans are people. Dragons can be people. Et cetera.
Edited Date: 2017-08-09 09:01 pm (UTC)

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